Afghan forces hand over territory to Taliban fighters

Afghan security forces stationed in the southern half of the country are reportedly surrendering vital checkpoints and military outposts to Taliban fighters in the area. 


Members of the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) allegedly reached an agreement with Taliban units to hand over the positions in the volatile Sangin district in Helmand province in the south, reports Marine Corps Times

Sangin was the location of some of the fiercest fighting between Marine Corps and Taliban fighters during the Obama administration's 2009 troop surge into southern Afghanistan. 

The Afghan National Army’s 2nd Brigade, 215th Corps is the main Afghan unit responsible for security operations in Sangin. 

Afghan forces were officially handed control of all combat operations in the country in June, as part of the White House's plan to withdraw U.S. forces from Afghanistan by 2014. 

There are no "indicators of a problem ... right now," with Afghan forces in Sangin, Marine Corps spokesman Lt. Col. Cliff Gilmore told Marine Corps Times. 

Marine Corps commanders are coordinating with ANSF leaders "to sort any facts from the rumors" regarding the situation in Sangin. 

Afghan forces are "in the lead and operate independently in many places,” Gilmore added.

That said, American and allied commanders "don’t have eyes-on and track info flow as it comes up the Afghan chain to the [Afghan army] headquarters," he added.